Greetings From Nantucket: High Jewelry for High Summer

Designer, retailer, and expert couture jewelry curator Katherine Jetter has always made the most of the high season (June 15 to September 15) at The Vault Nantucket, the jewelry boutique she opened on Nantucket island in 2017.

Exterior Vault Nantucket Katherine Jetter
Summer 2018 kicks off at Katherine Jetter’s The Vault Nantucket

Jetter sells her own collection alongside an array of exceptional, award-winning designers. So, no, this is not a Nantucket basket charm and starfish pendant situation—a Stephen Webster cocktail ring in the shape of a crab is more like it.

Stephen Webster crystal haze ring
Stephen Webster Crystal Haze crab ring (via: @thevaultnantucket)

You come to the Vault to find distinctive statement pieces by the likes of Victor Velyan and Silvia Furmanovich or to put together a stack of layerable diamond bracelets from Jade Trau. You come to play with fire opals and spinels or to work with Jetter herself to reimagine an heirloom engagement ring.

Green tourmaline ring by Katherine Jetter
Katherine Jetter mint green tourmaline and Burmese pink spinel ring (via: @thevaultnantucket)

I took a big risk focusing on couture jewelry only, but people have been giddy with excitement since the day I opened,” says Jetter.

Late July seemed like a great time to check in with Jetter to see how her summer’s been so far. For the next several weeks, she says, “Every day is big. I handpick every single piece in my store, so if I love it, I can sell it. It just has to be special, and I have to believe in it. “

Most of The Vault Nantucket’s clients are major jewelry aficionados, uncommonly knowledgeable about gem quality and familiar with top-tier designers. And since most summer on the island and leave in the fall, one of the ways Jetter makes the most of her time with them is by hosting a whirlwind of high-season trunk shows and special events, including a popular lecture series.

An example from last year: Jetter hosted an event at her boutique that invited clients to custom-design jewels with Australian designer Margot McKinney. With more than $3 million worth of gemstones in the house.

This year, the event schedule is off the chain: Hutton Wilkinson, Feral, Will Hanigan, William Goldberg, Paige Gamble, and Debra Navarro are among summer 2018’s featured designers.

Jade Trau was the guest of honor over the 4th of July. Last weekend it was Myriam Gumuchian’s turn to shine.


Jade Trau Vault Nantucket
A Jade Trau arm party (via: @thevaultnantucket)
Myriam Gumuchian at The Vault
Myriam Gumuchian receives a warm welcome at The Vault Nantucket (via: @thevaultnantucket)
Gumuchian Bee cuff
Gumuchian’s Honeybee “B” collection cuff bracelet was a trunk show favorite. A portion of each sale of this piece is donated to the University of Minnesota’s Bee Research Lab and Bee Squad.

So far the season’s highlight was an elegant luncheon overlooking Sconset Beach featuring designers Stephen Webster and Alex Sepkus. “It was off the charts,” says Jetter.

Vault Nantucket brunch event
The table settings—and views— at Jetter’s successful luncheon event spotlighting designers Stephen Webster and Alex Sepkus (via: @thevaultnantucket)

And when the summer’s over? The revolving door of big-name jewelry designers slows its pace. The crowds disperse. The mist is thick, and the water is cold. But it’s not like operations grind to a halt. “I just moved to Nantucket full-time, so my collection is always here,” says Jetter. And 60 percent of her business is devoted to custom work. “I’m not a traditional retailer because I myself am a jeweler, so I can service any request for custom engagement rings and special one-of-a-kind pieces to order.”

Top: The Vault Nantucket owner Katherine Jetter bidding her followers a Happy 4th of July and announcing a Jade Trau trunk show/open house (via: @thevaultnantucket)


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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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